Literary Movements Essay

Submitted By raviolipoop
Words: 397
Pages: 2

Literary Movements Proof Several articles written during the prime of transcendentalism embodied the tenets which defined the movement. In particular, the essay Self Reliance written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, displays the importance of rejecting materialism. The title of the passage gives way to one of the major themes: to rely on one’s own spirit and mind, rather than on material items. It is apparent in Emerson’s writing that he fully advocates the importance of putting one’s character and self-worth before any other element of life. Emerson talks of such when he stated, “Men have looked away from themselves and at things so long that they have come to esteem the religious, learned, and civil institutions as guards of property, and they deprecate assaults on these because they feel them to be assaults on property” (Emerson 270). Furthermore, Civil Disobedience, written by Henry David Thoreau, signifies nonconformity. In a society which restricts and denies, Thoreau stressed the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency and the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government. He was motivated by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War. As said in the essay, “If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law” (Thoreau 290). Thoreau argues that individuals should not allow governments to overrule or throw away their sense of right and wrong, and that they have a duty to avoid